40 kilos of plastic bags recovered from dead whale's stomach

Jo Lloyd
March 19, 2019

Darrell Blatchley, environmentalist and director of D' Bone Collector Museum Inc., shows plastic waste found in the stomach of a Cuvier's beaked whale near the Philippine city of Davao.

The problem also plagues the archipelago´s neighbours, with a sperm whale dying in Indonesia past year with almost six kilograms of plastic waste discovered in its stomach. Blatchley said the amount inside the young Cuvier's beaked whale was the "most plastic" he has ever seen in a whale. Recovered from inside the beaked whale were 16 rice sacks, four plastic bags used in banana plantations, multiple shopping bags, and hundreds of other small pieces of plastic packaging.

This isn't the first time a whale full of plastic has washed ashore.

In a Facebook post, the organisation demanded that the government take action against "those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsters".

"I was not prepared for the amount of plastic", Blatchley said.

Darrell Blatchley, 2015 Datu Bago Awardee President and Founder of D' Bone Collector Museum, told Euornews that at 11 a.m. they were informed the whale had just died and they travelled to the area as fast as they could.

Regional bureau director Fatma Idris told the outlet the whale, unable to swim on its own due to emaciation and depleted energy, struggled and vomited blood during its final hours.

A dead whale with nearly 100 pounds of plastic in its stomach washed up ashore in the Philippines, raising concerns from environmental activists. Cetaceans - marine mammals including whales, dolphins and porpoises - do not drink ocean water but absorb fresh water through their food, he explained.

Revealing a shocking and tragic trend, Blatchley said: "In the last 10 years we have recovered 61 whales and dolphins, of which 57 have died due to fishing nets, dynamite fishing, and plastic garbage".

The Philippines has become the world's third largest source of releasing plastic rubbish into the ocean, and has one of the highest waste collection rates in Southeast Asia.

"This can not continue", Blatchley said, noting the Philippines ranks as the second most plastic-polluted country in the world.

Last June, a whale died in Thailand after swallowing more than 80 plastic bags, which weighed up to 8 kg.

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